by George Manginelli, ADT Central Florida Area General Manager
Each year, an estimated 23 million packages are stolen from front porches according to a study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates. With the winter holidays fast approaching, the number of packages delivered to front doors throughout Orlando and the rest of Florida is only increasing, and that means that ‘porch pirates,’ or people who steal packages from front porches when left unattended, will also be out and about.
Thankfully, local Floridians can rest assured that with a little bit of diligence their holiday packages will not be stolen this year. Everyone should be monitoring their front doors and carefully following package deliveries to ensure that porch pirates will not ruin anyone’s holiday spirit.
The best option to help keep packages (and ultimately gifts) safe from the Grinch this holiday season, is to install a high-quality security camera, like that available with ADT Pulse. These cameras will notify you when motion is detected, and are the best way to ensure packages are not taken from front porches by unwanted visitors.
Other tips to follow include:
- Have the package delivered to your workplace or to a trusted neighbor who will be at home during the day
- Choose a shipping option that requires you to sign for delivery or track the delivery status online so you can be home when the package arrives
- Some retailers or shipping companies even offer text messages that alert you when items have been delivered
- If the item was delivered and you did not receive it, report the theft or loss to the retailer, the shipping company and police
If you happen to be traveling for the holidays, there are more ways to ensure that not only your packages will be safe, but your home too. Follow the suggestions below to help keep your home safe and free of burglaries or break-ins, such as reinforcing your perimeter, keeping lights on when you’re away and engaging your local police force.
- Plant thorny bushes like roses and bougainvillea around the windows
- Turn down the phone ringer so burglars won’t hear you aren’t there
- Buy motion-sensor lights. Some are solar powered, reducing energy usage
- Install a film on your window glass, making it tougher to smash
- When leaving for a week or more on vacation, many police departments offer “vacant house checks.” They will drive by frequently and can scare off criminals who know police are watching your house.
- Stop newspaper and mail delivery or have someone pick it up
- Tell your neighbors when you are leaving and ask them to watch your home
With these safety tips in mind, enjoying the holidays this winter will be easy – and loved ones will be sure to appreciate gifts initially brought to your front door.